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Sunday, September 24, 2023
Sept. 24, 2023

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‘Daisy Jones’ revisits heyday of 1970s rock ’n’ roll


One of the streaming events of the season will occur Friday on Prime Video: the hotly anticipated premiere of the series “Daisy Jones & The Six,” adapted from the bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The book, set in the world of the blossoming rock scene of Los Angeles in the 1970s, is like “Almost Famous” meets Fleetwood Mac, written in the style of an oral history. The series, which stars Riley Keough as the titular singer/songwriter and Sam Claflin as her co-frontman Billy Dunne, is structured as a faux “Behind the Music” episode, with interviews throughout.

“Daisy Jones & The Six” is produced by Reese Witherspoon (who selected the book for her book club) and Lauren Neustadter, whose husband Scott and his writing partner Michael H. Weber (“The Disaster Artist”) created the series. Their longtime creative collaborator James Ponsoldt executive produces and directed the first five episodes in the 10-episode series. The first three episodes premiere Friday, with two episodes dropping weekly thereafter.

The actors were put through an intensive “band camp,” and Claflin and Keough do all of their own singing. Keough, who has her own kingly rock heritage as the granddaughter of Elvis Presley, is particularly fantastic and magnetic as the wild child Daisy, modeled after Stevie Nicks. Camila Morrone also shines in a supporting role as Camila, Billy’s beleaguered wife, while Suki Waterhouse plays uber-cool British keyboardist Karen, a Christine McVie type.

The series scratches that ’70s rock itch with excellent tunes and lots of interpersonal drama. There’s even an album of songs forthcoming from the fictional The Six, “Aurora,” produced and written by Blake Mills — with contributions from Phoebe Bridgers, Marcus Mumford, Maren Morris and Jackson Browne — which also arrives Friday. (Two singles are already available.)

If this only whets your appetite for more ’70s rock dramatics, there’s a wealth of Fleetwood Mac material available for your perusal online. While that band’s “Behind the Music” is not on Paramount+, where other episodes of the beloved VH1 docuseries live, it is available to stream on Vimeo.

There also are many concert movies and making of documentaries, including “Fleetwood Mac: The Dance,” the 1997 greatest hits concert film, available to rent on iTunes and Amazon, and the 2004 film “Fleetwood Mac: Live in Boston,” available on YouTube. Aside from their “Behind the Music” episode, there’s also a “Classic Albums” episode about “Rumours,” available on the Roku Channel, Tubi or Freevee, and “Unbroken Chain,” streaming on Tubi and Freevee. Just plug “Fleetwood Mac” into YouTube for all the goods, including a making-of doc about the album “Tusk.”

There are two other docs about music legends from that time that were made in 2019. First, cue up “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” available on Starz or for rent elsewhere, and take in all the grumpy, vulnerable and hilarious musings of the late folk-rock legend. Then fire up “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” and learn all about how the easy-listening queen once ruled the Sunset Strip. (Fun fact: The Eagles probably wouldn’t exist without her.) Stream that on HBO Max, or rent it elsewhere.

This list wouldn’t be complete without Cameron Crowe’s influential 2000 film “Almost Famous,” starring Kate Hudson as the iconic (fictional) groupie Penny Lane, following around the tumultuous band Stillwater with a young rock reporter. Stream it on Prime Video or rent it elsewhere.

For the funnier side of ’70s rock, Rob Reiner’s 1984 mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” — starring Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKeon — always delivers. You can only buy it (not rent) on iTunes and Amazon, but this one deserves a place in the permanent collection.